Margaretta Tangerman, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Margaretta Tangerman


In 1949 in response to an invitation from Dr. O. P. Kretzmann, then President of Valparaiso University, to join hands with him to build a great university, Dr. Margaretta Tangerman, Prof. Emerita of Social Work, and her husband John left their home in Hammond, Indiana, to come to Valparaiso. It was a decision the Tangermans never regretted and they soon loved the community and their new friends in Porter County.

In 1948 when Mrs. Tangerman was Chief Casework Supervisor for the Lake County Dept. of Public Welfare, she was commuting to Valparaiso to teach a night class in social work at Valparaiso University. Among her students were a number of veterans of World War II and campus leaders. Their enthusiasm and response to Mrs. Tangerman's night school class led them to petition President Kretzmann to hire her to be the University's first Dean of Women and to start a Social Work Dept. Subsequently, Prof. Tangerman came to the University in 1949 as Dean of Women and to head the combined departments of Sociology and Social Work.

In the years that followed Prof. Tangerman became known nationally for her undergraduate social work department and attracted students from all over the United States and abroad. She was soon listed in 20 Who's Who in the United States, including Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women and seven International Who's Who, including The World Who's Who of Women and Two Thousand Women of Achievement. She has been selected to appear in Americans of the Bicentennial Era.

Prof. Tangerman also became known for her service to the nation, the state, and her community. Nationally she served on the Child Welfare Committee for the American Public Welfare Association, for over 10 years on the House of Delegates for the Council on Social Work Education, gave speeches and institutes on Child Welfare, Problems of the Aged, Youth and Mental Health for various groups and organizations. She was a delegate for the State of Indiana to three White House Conferences: Children and Youth, Aging and the Aged, and the Commission on the Status of Women. She is a gold card member of the National Association of Social Workers in recognition of her sustained membership in the professional association .and for devoted public service to her country. She was honored in 1969 as the Social Worker of the Year.

In the State of Indiana Prof. Tangerman served on a number of Governors Commissions and Councils: Governors Commission on Unemployed Relief, Children and Youth, the Aging and the Aged, the Status of Women. She is past President of the Indiana State Conference on Social Welfare and was honored with a gold gavel; past President of the Indiana Christian Social Welfare Association, on the Policy Board and District Chairman for the Second Congressional District for Hoosiers for the Equal Rights Amendment. She received an Ecumenical Leadership Citation from the Indiana Council of Churches.

Locally, Prof. Tangerman started the Northwest Regional Conference on Aging and the Aged and is on the Northwest Indiana Comprehensive Health Planning Council. She started the Porter County Council on Aging and the Aged, was its first President and now serves on its Advisory Council. She also serves on the Advisory Council of RSVP for Porter County. She was one of the founders of the Family Service Association for Porter County and serves on its Board and is Personnel Chairman. She is a charter member of the Porter Mental Health Association, served on its Board and also on its committee to establish the Porter County Guidance Clinic. She serves on the Board of the League of Women Voters of Porter County, was one of the League's observers at the Board meetings of the Porter County Dept. of Public Welfare, served as chairperson for the Committees on "Justice and the Courts" and "ERA". She was a delegate to the 1974 State Convention. She is also on the Board of the Lutheran Family Services of Northwest Indiana which includes Porter County and was their first Personnel Chairman. She serves as a Social Work Consultant for Social Agencies in Porter County.

Prof. Tangerman has memberships in many professional and local civic and service organizations which include being a long-time member of the Valparaiso American Association of University Women, Business and Professional Women, and Delta Kappa Gamma, Honorary Teachers Fraternity. These organizations have honored her for her services to Porter County. She also is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, Honorary Sociological Fraternity and Pi Gamma Mu Honorary Social Science Fraternity.

Prof. Tangerman was graduated from Indiana University with high honors and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received the following honors from Indiana University: The Susan Butler Award for attaining the highest standard in the University for scholarship and character, "from the entire faculty of Indiana U. by an unanimous vote", the Ulyssis C. Weatherly Award in Sociology "for scholarship, intelligence, achievement, and character", the Chi Omega Honorary Social Work Award for the woman student "who contributed most in social service to the campus and for outstanding scholarship, intelligence, achievement and character", the Pi Lambda Theta Award in the School of Education "to the outstanding woman on the campus for character, scholarship, service and leadership." She received her M.A. degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago, where she received the Grace Abbott Memorial and the Commonwealth Fellowships.

Prof. Tangerman retired in 1972 from Valparaiso University with the title of Prof. Emerita of Social Work and has an honorary doctorate degree. The Board of Directors of Valparaiso University commissioned that her portrait be painted, the first woman to be so honored. A tree was planted in her honor by students on the campus; a Margaretta Sackville Tangerman continuing scholarship was established by faculty; and the Alumni Association presented her with an honorary alumni membership and plaque for her services to the university and her community. In the past, former President Dr. O. P. Kretzmann had awarded her several plaques for dedicated services to the Social Work Department and University.

The Wheatridge Foundation, at retirement, also honored her with a plaque "for distinguished service in social work."

It is interesting to note that Professor Tangerman's Aunt Winifred Sackville Stoner was a frequent Chataugua speaker in Valparaiso and well remembered by many older residents in Porter County. Mrs. Stoner sponsored the Chataugua Desk made in Valparaiso and used this desk in public appearances when she spoke on her theory of “Natural Education."

Mr. Tangerman, as an employee of the Hammond Times, commuted daily from Valparaiso to Hammond for over 25 years. He attended the University of Illinois for three years, then transferred to the University of Chicago where he received his B.A. Degree. He took graduate work at Northwestern University. He is a charter member of the American Newspaper Guild and past President of the Hammond Newspaper Guild.

The Tangermans ar8 members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Valparaiso. They love the beauty ot Valparaiso and Porter County and enjoy their continued association with Valparaiso University and the warm friendships they have made in Porter County. They have chosen as their "retirement" home, Vale Village, 2804 Cumberland Drive, Chestnut Building, Apt. 2A, Valparaiso.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 167-168

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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